Normal Bob’s an Asshole. Discuss.

“Hey Normal Bob,
As an atheist, I really respect people like Dawkins and Hitchens…people who take on theists in calm, reasonable debate (and win!) I think you do a much better job on your website when you debate people in the street and put forward a case for atheism.

Having said that, I think you have a bit of a God Obsession. Not that atheists should have undue respect for religions, they like all things in a free democracy..are open to mockery etc. But as an individual, you seem to spend all of your time thinking about him (how he 100% does not exist, and drawing pictures of him, and making jokes about him, and dressing up as the devil etc.) Not being too catty here, but how old are you? For personal reassurance, do you have a life outside of all of this? Are you married, do you have a non-God themed job? It all just seems a bit….fifteen years old.

Plus, I note the slight hypocrisy that in your debates you say “life should be lived to make other people’s lives better” etc.
But on your own website act like a complete jerk! “Terror ran through me because nothing creeps me out more than giant moles on people’s faces….I immediately turned my back on her daddy long-leg.” Seriously….? Can you really imagine Dawkins ever writing that….? That’s someone’s kid you are talking about.

Again, I do not really know how much the atheist community needs an ageing man dressed up in a devil outfit, being an arse..and annoying people… as a spokesperson.
From an atheist to an atheist.
Tom Markham”

22 thoughts on “Normal Bob’s an Asshole. Discuss.

  1. Leif Pederson

    Quite odd that Tom mentions “really respecting” Richard Dawkins, and then he turns around and tells you to be less outspoken about your atheism. Odd, indeed, since Dawkins believes in a very open, militant atheism:

    http://vodpod.com/watch/1402399-richard-dawkins-ted-com

    And how is it that Tom doesn’t see that revealing the falsehood of religion is indeed making others’ lives better?

    Considering that a major step of my “unconversion” from christianity came from satirical sites like yours, I’m very happy that you do what you do. If there were more people walking around their cities bluntly addressing the insanities of religion (maybe as many as the number of lunatic religious zealots), we would be much closer to freeing the world from the shackles of ignorant faith.

    …that being said, I don’t know where I stand on you being an asshole. I’ve never met you.

  2. Steve Sanders

    Sure, Normal Bob’s an asshole … but in a good way!

    What’s wrong with not having a non-God themed job (if that’s in fact the case)? Hell, I spend my days cranking out BS corporate news releases. Where’s the glory or dignity in that, really (and I’m older than Bob, BTW)? Believe me, if I could make a comparable living drawing cartoon pictures of Jesus and stuff, I would trade in an instant.

    In a way, of course, Bob’s an entertainer. Is his dressing up as the Devil and selling cartoon magnets essentially any different than Lady GaGa wearing dumb masks and cavorting around to music? Would it make a difference if Bob earned as much as Lady GaGa? If so, then the issue would just be the money, not the fact of how Bob is earning it.

    The weirdest thing about Tom’s message is that he wants “personal reassurance” that Bob has another, normal life. Why? Unless you’re Bob’s mother, do you need “personal reassurance” that Bob flosses his teeth, pays his rent on time, and has regular bowel movements? I don’t get it.

    I read and enjoy Dawkins, Hitchens, etc., but when I want a good belly laugh I come to Bob’s site hoping he’s posted new hate mail (with his responses, of course).

    So, I don’t know if Bob’s an asshole or not. I get the sense he’s a pretty decent guy, probably someone I wouldn’t need to worry about robbing me or killing my cat if I lived next door to him (unlike some neighbors I’ve had).

    But I do wonder about that Tom guy and his strange concern over Bob’s job and marital status, etc. I wonder, does he have a life?

  3. Jennifer Bowman

    How on earth this person can say your obsessed with the whole god thing and then mention respecting Dawkins at the same time? Dawkins has written books based on the whole god thing, he’s had more than numerous debates, articles, interviews…etc all based on the subject..hell the man is even beginning an Atheist camp for kids! If Bob is obsessed with god so are Hitchens and Dawkins, that being said I see nothing wrong with the obsession to begin with. Does is some how make what your doing silly to care so much that you would dedicate your life to it?
    What Bob is doing isn’t childish he’s proving a point by dressing up in the manner he does…how childish other people are by bringing it out of them with his silly outfit. Would any normal person get angry seeing a man dressed up as Satan…no…he’s proving how insane and irrational they really are. Looking normal and being polite all the time wont always bring out some individuals true thoughts.
    In my opinion not only is he making a living doing his art, expressing his thoughts and helping to teach others how silly their beliefs are he is helping agnostics and fellow atheists feel less alone. How is this a waste of life or immature?
    The U.S. is going through horrible times right now, gays are being treated as lesser beings, creationism is being in taught in schools how could any unselfish person paying attention not be concerned or obsessed? To assume he’s spent all of his free time doing this is silly, the hate mail has been accumulated for nine years…nine years is a lot of time to collect a mass of religious hate mail!
    Bob seems to mock idiots when it calls for it or hell when he feels like it. Who could control themselves all the time when he hears such idiocy so often? Being called gay for wearing makeup, threatened to be ass raped, etc..sometimes one just has to be a dick right back. Laughing is fucking healthy and he helps me laugh off the stress I get from living in such a religious community.
    Dawkins annoys, Hitchens really piss’s some people off I’d say they have both had their life threatened on many occasion but their normal, polite people as he says. We need both sides….calm, assertive people who look just like everyone else and don’t go to extreme’s but what about humor for us fellow atheists? Damn, I know many who need someone with a sense of humor to combat all the nonsense who can still intelligently debate but entertain and make us laugh as well.
    Maybe this guy just misunderstood what Bob’s doing?

  4. sloov

    Bob, take it from a fellow atheist and follower of atheist thinkers, you’ll never be as big an asshole as Dawkins, no-god bless him.

    Humor is the most effective tool for the rational. Humor is the heart of entertainment, and the whole reason there even is an “atheist community” is that people like George Carlin, Issaac Asimov, James Randi, Penn Jillette, and yes, even those “serious thinkers” like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens figured out a way to make their views fucking entertaining.

    Rational doesn’t have to mean fucking boring. In fact boring ass scientists are the reason a great deal of our population doesn’t know how to reason.

    Fuck that motherfucker.

  5. Hellbound Alleee

    Nothing more self-righteous than a (possibly) closeted Spokesman For The Atheist Movement ™.

    And nobody more ineffcctual than a “member” of said imaginary movement who never offends anyone. And if he thinks that Dawkins and Hitchens (!) are not seen as militant and offensive, then he doesn’t know who either of those men are.

    Or maybe it’s Normal Bob Smith whose been called “atheism’s Bulldog” or “pibull.” Don’t remember which.

    If you haven’t offended anyone/made anyone laugh, you haven’t done squat for “our movement.” But feel free to fold your hands quietly and sit in the back of the library basement meeting.

  6. mark rogan

    ok first off…anyone IMO who types the word ‘arse’ instead of typing ‘ass’ has no respect from me. Let go of your fear dood….let go and let Bob!! Bob is a perfect being because his name spelled backwards is also Bob. Did it ever occur to you that Bob has a tidy little nitch on the net and it requires his time. I am tired of people who call themselves free thinkers but have to spend all their time debating the issues and stirring shit up. I consider myself an ‘Atheist 2.0′ . Religious people must suffer from some form of mental illness.

  7. greengoddess

    Bob, I’ve been a fan of your site since you lived in Chicago. You have been an invisible friend of sorts to me, holding my hand through difficult times, and always giving me a laugh when I needed it. Shit, it was reading your hate mail straight through from page 1 that got me through the last awful trimester of my pregnancy! (I’d sit, all fat and uncomfortable, eating popsicles and groaning from the weight of the hormones and the child inside me, laughing my ass off at the “Fuk U faggit” people!)

    It takes all kinds of soldiers to win a revolution. We need the scientists, the philosophers, the comedians, the teachers, the mommies & daddies, the tired and the inspired. Each of us who fights for truth must express it in our own ways. Dawkins uses his considerable resources to advance the public understanding of science. Hitchens and Harris use their philosophical writing skills to keep the right questions in circulation. Carlin did stand up comedy. Penn Jillette does magic and TV to reach the minds of the masses. Some people wear T-shirts.

    Your website is your personal expression, and I am so glad to have been at least a peripheral part of your world. Sometimes you’re an asshole, but you’re always entertaining about it, so who gives a shit. I say, keep it coming and don’t hold back.

    I love you as always.

  8. John

    Are we supposed to fend for Bob?
    I know of another (fictional) entity who does that!
    Fend for yourself, you’re much better at it than we are anyway!
    @Bob’s mommy, is he an asshole?

  9. Parker Millar

    Having met you personally, I can tell that you are in fact an Asshole. Skater Bob is more of a dick, and the two of you together make quite the pair. I would suggest that the two of you find a taint and a couple of nuts to hang around with just to complete the entourage. I’m a dick, my girlfriend’s a cunt and my roomate is quite the asshole. Together we form a superior organism, not unlike voltron. Oh, and I’m planning to print out some of your literature to hand out in the subway. There’s a christian tract stand in the 42 st station. they have some really funny comics made by a guy named Jack Chick. If you haven’t heard of him already you should check him out. He’s a real asshole.

  10. Normal Bob

    I sat down and tried to think of how to respond to this, explaining why I’m viable and valid, then I realized it was everyone else who had to say it, not me.

    I emailed him back and told him his letter was up for discussion and included a link to this page.

  11. Alexi

    Tom refers to Bob as a jerk. Which i interpret as a much more socially acceptable than say, asshole. Despite whatever the reality may be (having never met Bob) the distinctions are in fact striking and i can’t imagine Bob as either.

    Tom’s critique seems to center on the most recent page of Amazing Strangers. Which if you’ve been a fan of Bob’s for longer than a few minutes; you’ll know Bob seasonally moonlights as an observer of human nature. A.S. conveys just how much we take things (not just religion) to the extreme. Though an excuse for the mole comment escapes me here.

    Yes, much of Bob’s current life goes unexplained either through apathy or lack of time. The true reason for this is unknown, but i’m sure it’s just as mundane as Tom’s & mine.

    As for Bob’s hate mail. It’s just that. Hate mail. If you take longer than a quick glance at each page. More often than not, you’ll notice Bob’s demeanor mirrors the antagonist who chose to take issue with him. I’d hardly call that ‘being an arse.’ If religulous minded jerks would simply practice what they preached; Bob might very well spend his days speechless.

  12. Hunter

    I can relate to Tom to a certain degree. I return to Bob’s site every now and then but there were quiet a few times when I was somewhat disgusted in his approaches.

    There were however often times when I was amused.

  13. Rikk

    Bob may have the capacity to be an asshole but so does everybody else!

    He uses his wit and sense of humor to go after the very people who

    deserve it the most,these damn fundies make me sick!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep fighting the good fight Bob!

  14. Martriga

    Mark Rogan posted this dumb-arse post:

    “ok first off…anyone IMO who types the word ‘arse’ instead of typing ‘ass’ has no respect from me. Let go of your fear dood…”

    Why are you assuming fear enters into it?

    This particular word “arse” has been used by the British
    for centuries. It is not a “cop out” for using the word “ass”.

    Also, some editors (the software application that allows me to post this)
    are programmed to censor certain words like “ass”,
    so people get around this by typing the word “arse”.

    If an issue like this qualifies as criteria by which
    you offer respect to someone, you’ve got some
    serious altar-boy duty to catch up on…

  15. Julius

    Having met Bob I’ll say he has the capacity to be an asshole but wasn’t so with me… perhaps because I’ve hired him twice and on both occasions he turned out a product that was both brilliant and amazing. Hmm… come to think of it, he IS an asshole! And maybe even a poopie-head too. But y’know, sometimes that’s what it takes to get one’s point across to the folks who are deaf to the voice of reason anyway. One thing is for sure, he isn’t an asshole where it isn’t unwarranted. Sure keeps me laughing and that’s really all I care about. The fact that he’s always right is just icing on the cake… so THERE!

  16. Mike Maloney

    Bob-

    Love your site,whatever you may put up,and would love to see more animated phone calls.PISS-PANTS funny!

    Although I pretty much find myself in
    the neutral position on the afterlife. The “God ate my balls” section is very interesting,with one bit missing- How did you go from “ok, there’s no god” to the horns and makeup guy of today? Thanks.

    And dammit, I WILL buy a magnet set or two!

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